Onyx Ashanti

Onyx Ashanti


Beatjazz is what you get when a horn player, plays Beats...with a horn! Equal parts sound design, live looping and jazz improvisation, Onyx Ashanti takes you for a swim in a sea of beats and grooves that are as original as they are beautiful.


Onyx creates Beatjazz as an exercise in creating funky nasty music, IN the moment, FOR, the moment. It is equal parts live looping, sound design and jazz improvisation, done in the aesthetic of a DJ set and sounds like Roger Troutman singing lead for Parliament Funkadelic in a dark Basement club on Tatooine.

The music is constructed and artistically deconstructed by playing and singing slivers of sound into his computer, all controlled by a horn-like instrument called an EWI (Electronic Wind Instrument) and directed by the vibe of the audience. The Music is layered, piece by piece, one part at a time until it forms into a defined piece of space funk. The sound is evocative of the syncopated rhythms of hip hop, afrobeat, broken beat, house, and jungle, with melodic influences steming from pop, gospel, contemporary jazz, funk and RnB, all improvisationally reinterpreted in new and evolving ways that can only be termed "Beat" "Jazz".

The concept is born of the blending onyx's childhood influences, growing up in Mississippi with roots in the church, and his later, adulthood adventures as a street busker, being part of LA's Southern California rave scene in the late nineties, all the way up to the life altering time he spent in London UK. While there, he toured extensively with Jazzie B. and the Legendary Soul II Soul Sound System , as well as performing with The Basement Jaxx, playing on 3 songs from their Grammy Award winning "Kish Kash" Album, and even having them name the song, "Onyx", on which he sings, after him on their 2005 Greatest Hits Album. Onyx has also played on or released tracks from labels such as Soulfuric, INGROOVES, Talking House, United Music, and Phazz-a-delic, as well as others. Beyond the aforementioned artists, Onyx has played or recorded with artists such as Marshall Jefferson, Robert Owens, Mattias Heilbron, Jay J, Jocelyn Brown, and others. A full listing is included in the promotional package in the "shows and Collaborations" sheet.


Soulfuric, INGROOVES, Talking House, United Music, and Phazz-a-delic as well as my complete discography being available at www.onyxashanti.bandcamp.com for free download

Set List

My setlist is uncommon in that it is completely improvised. I do have pieces that were inspired by previous recordings though.